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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Worst “Shock” Ending Ever?

Every Thursdsy, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature.

Today we take a look at one of the worst “shock” endings that you’ll ever see, from the creative team of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers!

Okay, first off, the cover of the book specifically brags about the book’s “shock ending”…

This April 1962 has an odd opening, with a prison warden complaining about lightning…

But the story itself, though, really is quite interesting.

The escaped prisoner shows up and tells about a mysterious monster…

The monster can take on the properties of objects and creatures…

The warden and the guards think that he is just making things up, but the reveal is done well…

Nice situation, right?

So how could they possibly get out of this jam? HOW!?!?

Why a bolt of lightning hits the monster and kill him, of course…

So yes, the “shock” part was a pun. And boy was it a bad one.

I love how the story ends with the warden waxing poetic about lighting, for crissakes!

Thanks to reader Jeff R. for suggesting I feature this story. Good stuff.

23 Comments

The monster looks like a two-headed Thing.

That makes sense, as it is, indeed, a Two-Headed Thing. The cover even says so! :D

Surely the ‘shock’ ending referenced on the cover is the fact that the prisoner turns out to be the monster, not the lightning strike? I’m not sure it’s meant to be a pun.

How about featuring famous couples of comics (Daredevil/Black Widow, Vision/Scarlet Witch) in February in honor of Valentine’s Day?

It reminds how in the most outrageous Superman stories of the Weisinger era, they would take a crazy premise to its limits, only to contrive a return to the status quo in the last few panels! Fun stuff!

I don’t think you’ll get very far in an argument where you’re saying that anything Stan Lee wrote had non-deliberate puns in it.

Are there two of us? (Jeff R.’s who’ve sent you ideas, that is?) Because this one was entirely new to me, and I’d hate to think an actual submitter isn’t getting proper credit…

I have to say that I loved it. I love Lee’s hyping. “Only one man on Earth knows the incredible secret of the two-headed thing, and to my eternal regret I am that man.” He promised a shock ending and he delivered. It’s too bad the story’s more of a deus ex machina than an ironic ending.

I have to say that the pre-superhero Marvel stuff seems like it’s straight from Twilight Zone scripts. In fact I could have sworn that “There are Martians Among Us” from Amazing Fantasy #15 was a straight adaptation of a Twilight Zone episode.

Following on from Max and Brian’s comments, its clear where the inspiration for the FF’s Thing came from.

How little we truly know!

Damn right.

Even better, Roy Thomas had the Two-Headed Thing meet Ben Grimm and company in an issue of Fantastic Four Unlimited that spotlighted the Marvel Monsters.

Can we assume the ending was tacked on? Because the reveal is actually a good one. Would far rather see the monster rampaging through the prison than this dreadful ending.

Didn’t FF#1 predate this issue? I’m not sure this monster inspired the Thing.

What the hell is the point of the creature taking on the properties of others if he’s so damn fickle he gives them up like THAT, AND he gives these guys the heads up of what he’s going to do to them? Man, Stan just wrote too damn much, he got goofy!

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“How about featuring famous couples of comics (Daredevil/Black Widow, Vision/Scarlet Witch) in February in honor of Valentine’s Day?” – Chris Shillig

^ Seconded! Great idea! Brian’s monthly theme-posts are one of my favorite things about the site and that sounds like a great idea for one. I can see a lot of potential, whether long-term ones (the above mentioned) or for ones that almost happened/happened for a short time (for example, Magneto and Rogue’s temporary dalliance in the Savage Land, which lead to their alternate reality marriage in “Age of Apocalypse”).

I think that is a very touching story about a person’s bigotry against the killing power of storms and how we can learn to love God’s senseless and violent Creation

@Sandwich Eater

“I have to say that the pre-superhero Marvel stuff seems like it’s straight from Twilight Zone scripts. In fact I could have sworn that “There are Martians Among Us” from Amazing Fantasy #15 was a straight adaptation of a Twilight Zone episode.”

Hell, the Amazing Fantasy #15 Spider-Man story is pretty much Tales From The Crypt

Reminds me of ‘Bad Twist Ending Theater’.

Next Week: The Dream the dream that really happened.

That was a great post. I read dozens of stories like these when I was a young teen. Thanks for posting it. It brought back some fine memories.

Well, maybe he’s not the inspiration for the FF Thing, but his powers and his nightmarish metamorphosis, and the fact that the “infected” victim doesn’t realize he’s himself the monster, reminds me of “The Thing” movie plot… The one with Kurt Russel and directed by John Carpenter.
But I believe the movie itself is a remake from another one from the 50′s, so it’s not like Stan’s directly responsible for one of the scariest movies from the eighties.

So there’s a guy on death row and he witnesses a monster just pop up out of the ground in a prison courtyard? Okay, I can buy that. But somehow on that very same night there was a thunderstorm and it made the lights go out in the prison and that allowed the convict to escape his cell and follow the monster? And the warden says he knew it was going to happen? What, was the cell some sort of faraday cage that neutralized the guy’s super powers? And why does the thing have two heads? That detail doesn’t pay off at all. There’s your shock ending: two-headed monster dies like a bitch and it has nothing ironic to do with his two-headed-ness at all!

Heck, his final transformation from prisoner into two headed idol of millions looks like the noruegian corpse in John Carpenter’s Aunt Petunia Favorite Nephew (in the old movie the monster didn’t shapeshift).

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